It’s that time again — the nights are long, the air is cold, but soon the radio will fire into life and bring the sounds of Australian summer to our ears. Will England come back from the previous whitewash with a win (as they did in 2010-11, or will Australia complete a 3rd whitewash in 4 series. I for one am betting it won’t be a draw!
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Apologies one and all for a lack of recent musings – it’s all due to a new arrival in the household which has meant my waking (and sleeping) hours are completely dominated by bottle feeding sessions and nappy changes – yes a little bambino has arrived. Give her about 18 years and she’ll be playing for England.
Anyway; to business.
Well, to paraphrase William Shakespeare somewhat, that was a winter of discontent for England. After pretty inept performances in the Ashes most would have thought it couldn’t get any worse. It did – the humiliating defeat against the Netherlands (even if it was a ‘dead rubber’) proving the coup de grâce. Before and since that final shambolic outing there have been some high profile casualties — gone are coach Andy Flower, middle order mainstay Jonathan Trott and spin king Graeme Swann. And then of course there is the whole saga around Kevin Pietersen. Gloveman Matt Prior will also be nervously looking over his shoulder as others threaten his place in the side.… Read Full Article
When England squared up to Australia in the last Ashes series I, like many, thought the visitors would retain the urn during the five match series. It was always going to a tougher battle than the summer showdown but victory was expected.
Player for player England were just too strong, weren’t they? At the time, with the standout exception of middle-order maestro Michael Clarke, a combined XI of the two sides would have been dominated by the three lions. Other than skipper Clarke who would have made the combined side? Perhaps David Warner for Michael Carberry? A fit Ryan Harris in for either Chris Tremlett or Tim Bresnan? Certainly the former, probably the latter. A place for Shane Watson? Maybe – but who would he replace? On the face of it, however, England certainly appeared the stronger outfit.… Read Full Article
For what I am about to say may I be struck down from above…but I am glad that this Ashes series is at an end. Quite simply Australia have played far better than the sum of their individual parts and England have been, for the large part, absolutely diabolical.
As sure as night follows day the Aussies wrapped up a devastating 5–0 series win, yet again bowling England out for a pitiful total not worthy of an international line up. The visitors now need to go back, re-group and pick up the pieces from this potentially disastrous tour down-under.… Read Full Article
English winters are a terrible thing. Cold and wet, the season also means no home cricket whatsoever.
Christmas is one shining light in the fog of the cold and to add to this the thought of an annual test match that starts on Boxing Day and usually held under blue skies and warm temperatures is one that stirs the imagination and one that I will raise a cold beer to.
Boxing Day tests have been held every year since 1980 (except 1989 when a one day match vs Sri Lanka was played instead (boo – ed) and at the Melbourne Cricket Club in Australia – aka the MCG). They have also been dominated by some massive crowds (which have approached six figures on occasion).… Read Full Article
Amongst the wreckage of the Ashes tour comes another seismic bombshell — the best English spinner in a generation has handed his ticket in.
Yes it’s true — Graeme Swann has announced his immediate retirement. What a massive loss. Swann was a great player, competitor, fighter and all-round team man. He could even hold a bat the right way round.
Having taken 255 wickets in his test career at a shade under 30 a piece, his record is there for all to see and it’s going to be very hard to replace him. As always with England there’s hardly a queue of spinners banging down the door to take his place in the side. So does that mean we go back to the days of only ever picking a twirler when the pitch suits rather than a first choice?… Read Full Article
With a ruthless determination and a killer instinct worthy of a wolf chasing a wounded deer, Australia duly completed the rout of a demoralised England this morning.
England simply haven’t turned up this series and a rejuvenated Australia have preyed on every weakness and every failing to humiliate what is still a pretty good side.
Winning a fourth consecutive Ashes series was a pretty tall order and it was one that was beyond England. The urn now returns to Australia (figuratively speaking, anyway!) and we no doubt won’t hear the end of it from our cousins on the other side of the planet.
As Cook admitted in his post-match press conference, England have been outplayed in all areas and will, I suspect, claim a 5–0 triumph. It’s simply not their style to take their foot off the gas. The wolf has caught the prey, now he wants to finish every last tasty morsel.… Read Full Article
Two days in and Australia certainly have the upper hand. But so what. The Ashes are won and won pretty convincingly at that. This is a dead-rubber match and is very reminiscent of Ashes series of old when England used to suddenly pull a decent performance out of the hat when the urn was in the possession of the Aussies. Players who time and time again let the team down would suddenly grab a five-for or score a century and their series average to the historic observer would look half-decent.… Read Full Article
I’ve been away on holiday for the past 2½ weeks and haven’t had chance to write about the cricket. During that time there have been 2 more Ashes test matches and England have extended their lead to 3–0. Having been away from all the talking heads I haven’t heard what they have to say, so here are some of my own thoughts, uninfluenced by the pundits.
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So, the intriguing 1st Ashes Test at Trent Bridge continues to be exciting with no clear winner emerging as yet. However I want to look back to a potentially key moment of the game — the “not out” decision given to Australia’s Agar. Let me be clear — no fault can be laid on any of the players or on-field umpires — only on the DRS system and the umpire managing it. There have been several wrong decisions in this Test match and in the recent champions trophy, lets look at each of them in turn.… Read Full Article